Investors back Plum Guide in extended $31m Series B round

UK: London-based curated home rental collection Plum Guide – described by some as the ‘Michelin guide for homes’ – has announced that it has extended its Series B funding round to raise a total of $31 million [£23 million].

The investment builds on a $9.9 million [£6.6 million] cash injection led by venture capital firm Beringea in October and also incorporates a $3.5 million raise through a Crowdcube crowdfunding round backed by hosts, guests and users of Plum Guide to invest in its future growth.

Existing investors Talis Capital, Hearst Ventures and Latitude [LocalGlobe] also participated in the investment round.

By raising fresh investment, Plum Guide will look to accelerate its growth and expand beyond its 500 destinations across 29 countries, including Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Milan and Rome.

It is also aiming to capitalise on the so-called ‘revenge travel’ boom by creating a “definitive list of the world’s most extraordinary holiday homes”. According to a recent McKinsey travel industry report, global travellers are shunning hotels in favour of alternative and more personal accommodation, while a joint Plum Guide / YouGov survey of 4,000 British and American holidaymakers suggested that Brits are planning to spend £800 more on a holiday this year compared to 2021.

Doron Meyassed, founder and CEO of Plum Guide, said: “With British consumers spending more in 2022 than in previous years, there is no room for error and so we strive to set that global standard for quality in the travel sector that has previously been lacking. We are catering to discerning global travellers who simply expect the best; they want unique properties in exciting destinations for a homestay in comfort and style and this investment will allow us to scale up to meet that demand.”

Founded in 2016, Plum Guide selects and awards the best homes in each market through a combination of data, technology and expert ‘home critics’.

Through a proprietary ‘Perfect Stay Test’, Plum Guide’s home critics assess each home according to a 150+ point test that helps Plum Guide build a “definitive collection of the world’s best homes”

By offering a curated alternative to mass-market booking platforms and selecting only the top three per cent of properties in any destination, the company attracts a mature, urban, affluent consumer segment who expect a consistently exceptional experience with the knowledge gained from the Perfect Stay Test.

Karen McCormick, chief investment officer at Beringea, said: “As consumers start making up for lost time, there is going to be vast demand for exceptional, reliable travel experiences. The entrepreneurial experience of Doron and his remarkable team has ensured that the pandemic has simply driven the company from strength to strength, and its impressive performance as lockdowns have eased demonstrates that Plum Guide is a business strongly positioned to harness the ‘revenge’ travel boom.”

Luxury will also be the main topic of conversation when ShortTermRentalz’ RockSTRz webinars return for a fifth series next Tuesday 22 February [4pm GMT] with a session on “Defining the new era of luxury”.

The session, sponsored by NoiseAware and Flywire, will address everything from how travellers’ perceptions of luxury compare now to pre-Covid-19, to the trending luxury concept and features that are most in demand and how the emergence of hotel brands in the short-term rental space is driving professionalisation of the segment.

STRz editor Paul Stevens will be joined by Mohannad Zikra, co-founder and CEO, Stella Stays; Paul Johnson, editor, A Luxury Travel Blog; Paola Gheis, co-founder, LUXRE – The Luxury Rentals Event; director, Paola Gheis Luxury Rental Consulting; and Ruben Martinez, co-founder, Glamping Hub.

Sign up to the upcoming webinar at the link here.